MSNBC contributor Malcolm Nance gave a troubling description of Facebook’s relationship to its users on Wednesday morning, comparing the social network and its latest user privacy issue to ’70s dystopian thriller “Soylent Green.”
“A better analogy of what Facebook is and the people who are on Facebook would come from that old movie ‘Soylent Green,’ which was the food stuff that everybody ate in a dystopian world and we found out that Soylent Green was people,” Nance said on “MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin,” as he addressed a question from Kasie Hunt.
“You are the consumable of Facebook,” he continued. “The pictures of your mothers. The things that you say in private to other people. The communications that you share, those are being sold. And you think you have a measure of privacy. You don’t.”
Nance was reacting to a bombshell report from The New York Times that revealed that Facebook had given more than 100 companies special access to private user data — including giving companies like Spotify and Netflix access to private user messages. Netflix and Spotify, in statements to TheWrap, said they did not access private user messages, despite having the ability to do so.
Facebook, in a blog post late on Tuesday, confirmed that it had given privileged access to partner apps, but only with user consent and merely to help connect users.
“Did partners get access to messages? Yes. But people had to explicitly sign in to Facebook first to use a partner’s messaging feature,” Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, director of developer platforms and programs at Facebook, wrote in the blog post.
If you haven’t seen the 1973 flick, it stars Charlton Heston and has a 70 percent audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Jon Levine contributed to this report.